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All The New Features In Oddworld: Soulstorm

Oddworld: Soulstorm is a highly-anticipated "retake" of 1998's cult classic adventure game Oddworld: Abe's Exoddus. The game follows the adventures of Abe, a rebel Mudokon who seeks to free his people from a dangerous energy drink factory. 

In a 2019 interview with Polygon, series director Lorne Lanning explained that there are several new wrinkles to classic Oddworld gameplay mechanics. While Abe can still create Possession Orbs by chanting, these Orbs have received some significant upgrades. While these are still used to control other characters, they can also be upgraded with a variety of different effects. 

Lanning has remained tight-lipped the specifics of some of Abe's new powers, and fans have only a few glimpses of Soulstorm's gameplay before now. Ahead of Soulstorm's April 6 release date, Oddworld Inhabitants and IGN released a 12-minute gameplay walkthrough, complete with commentary from Lanning, which finally reveals a good bit of what Soulstorm has in store.

Crafting and Stealth GameSpeak

Soulstorm introduces an exciting crafting system to the franchise, which allows Abe to collect items and combine them together to create much-needed tools and weaponry. However, there's no need to worry about an overly-complex crafting system. As explained by Lanning, "We kept it to what I would call 'crafting-lite,' which was intended to widen the range of ways that you could solve a puzzle, and also give you a reward for the exploration and collecting that you had done." 

As an example, Lanning then showed Abe crafting a smokescreen gadget, which allows him to quickly hide from enemies. Abe's new backpack allows him to hang onto all of these materials for later crafting.

On the topic of stealth mechanics, Lanning pointed out that Abe will now use a quieter version of GameSpeak, which is his method of giving orders to his followers. When the player is moving in a stealthy manner, Abe will instead whisper his commands. Lanning says that this mechanic is "to be used cautiously," because one false move (or loud noise) will wake Abe's enemies, which can result in a quick death. 

Non-lethal approaches and the final tally

Abe has plenty of fun new abilities in his arsenal, which will prove to be invaluable assets for freeing his followers from the factory. However, there are multiple approaches to each encounter. For instance, the gameplay overview shows Abe crafting a ball of rubber bands, which can be shot at enemies from an angle, allowing Abe to stay up and out of danger as he takes them out. The game will reward Abe for keeping casualties to a minimum, so players may want to explore plenty of non-lethal methods of knocking enemies out and then binding them, rather than killing them outright.

At the end of each level, Lanning says, Oddworld: Soulstorm does something else that is brand new for the franchise: it tallies up various metrics that show how well you carried out your objectives. This includes the number of enemies killed, number of Mudokons rescued, and all of the secrets that have been discovered or missed. Lanning says that this tally system should serve to encourage players to revisit stages.